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Q&A: Gethin Anthony from NBC’s new show “Aquarius”

The Scene spoke with Anthony about his new role as criminal turned aspiring rock star Charles Manson.

Q&A: Gethin Anthony from NBC’s new show “Aquarius”

The crime drama “Aquarius” premieres on NBC on May 28 at 9 p.m. EST, and the entire series will be available online on NBC’s website on May 29. The show takes place in Los Angeles in 1967 and stars Gethin Anthony (“Game of Thrones”) as the criminal turned aspiring rock star Charles Manson. David Duchovny (“The X-Files,” “Californication”) plays a middle-aged homicide detective named Sam Hodiak, and Grey Damon (“Friday Night Lights”) plays a young vice cop named Brian Shafe. When the 16-year-old daughter of Sam’s old girlfriend goes missing, Sam and Brian go undercover to find her. They quickly realize they’re in over their heads when they delve into the new counterculture of the 1960s and discover the underground drifters that Charles controls.

The Eagle’s Arts and Entertainment Editor Adena Maier participated in a conference call with other journalists from organizations such as Sun Media and Pop Entertainment to question Gethin Anthony on his new show. Below are some of the highlights.

On why people gravitated toward Charles Manson

Gethin Anthony: “I think there are a few key factors. One of the few books Manson said he has read is ‘How to Make Friends and Influence People,’ and he claims to listen to pimps in prison as a way of understanding how they controlled people. He obviously was actively engaging in how to influence other people way before any of the crimes took place. He was let out of prison at a time when there was a lot of liberation in the air, young impressionable minds out and about. [It was] a perfect cocktail of circumstances, really.”

On how he mentally prepared for portraying Charles Manson

GA: “I learned about his upbringing, how he grew up in institutions around the country, prison-like institutions throughout his life. I educated myself about how a human being can get to a position in their life where they are viewed so publicly as some kind of mythological villain. There’s a lot of information out there.”

On the most surprising thing that happened to him on set

GA: “The very first moment I walked onto set, one of the producers or actors had organized for a shaman to clear my aura in my trailer. [I thought] it’s really sweet that someone thought to do this. They did it for the whole set to remove any bad energy from our production.”

On whether we’ll get to hear him sing

GA: “Yes, you will hear Charles sing because in our story that’s what he does, [he’s] trying to get a record deal. I had to learn to play guitar to play the role as well.”

On whether the show will eventually address the Tate-LaBianca murders

GA: “If we continue to make the show over say, years, if we get that kind of response, then I think it would be impossible to get through to the 70s if [the murders] weren’t at least considered in the storyline.”

On what it was like working with David Duchovny

GA: “I hugely looked up to him growing up and still do as an actor, he’s a generous and very professional presence. He’s a heck of a leader on set. It’s very nice to be around, I think I’ve been very lucky in my career to work with some fantastic professionals, and I definitely count him as one of the top of that league.”

amaier@theeagleonline.com